BOY, OH BOY, DO I HAVE A TREAT FOR TODAY'S EPISODE OF FIND THE FACTS! 😁 If you haven't already come across this series, hi! I'm Krista and I am on a mission to learn about things we don't know but should and de-bunk viral information from the internet.
If the title of this article wasn't a dead giveaway, it's penises.
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So, let's get started with today's expert: The ~Dick Doc~ from TikTok. Dr. Edward Zimmerman — who originally started in family medicine — has performed aesthetic procedures since the '90s.
Here's a video of the interview with Dr. Zimmerman — or you can scroll down to read a breakdown of the info!
We sat down with Dr. Zimmerman to talk about all things penises; from average size, to the best way to clean 'em, we've got it all...
To start, what exactly is the average penis size? Dr. Zimmerman said that, when erect, the average penis is about five inches long. "And, interestingly enough, the average penis at its widest circumference is about 4 3/4 to 5.1 inches around," he added.
"We get questions like, 'Are finger size, shoe size, or nationality related to the penis?' And there is no good science to support that. In addition, a penis under 2.5 inches is considered a microphallus, but even small penises can get the job done, he said, adding, "I can speak to the fact that the exterior presentation of a gentleman has very little to do with what you'll find under the belt. Sometimes it's quite humbling and quite surprising."
If you want to know how to properly measure your penis, check out Dr. Zimmerman's video tutorial here!
When we think about penis size, some people may wonder if their penis ever stops growing. Dr. Zimmerman said that they do, and you can expect this to happen after puberty or up until your early twenties. On the other hand, penises do not stay the same length forever. "Penises shrink with age — just like how you lose volume in your face and neck. Down below, you'll lose girth and you'll also lose length if you're rarely using it. It truly is a use-it-or-lose-it type of deal."
So, if you have an average penis but still aren't thrilled about your size, can you actually make your penis longer? Dr. Zimmerman's answer for that is relatively simple, telling BuzzFeed, "Think about how hard it would be to try to make someone taller. If you damage the internal organs that cause the erection, then you may have erectile problems for life and that's not worth it."
"To get length, you can do something called jelqing (penis-stretching exercises) or you can use penis pumps to give you a temporary elongation, but it's like going to the gym. Once you stop going, things pretty much go back to the way they would have been if you'd never done it," he added.
But, just because it may not be safe to make your penis longer, that doesn't mean there aren't other ways to safely enhance the size of your penis! In fact, Dr. Zimmerman said the best way to make a penis bigger is not by adding length, it's by adding girth. "Girth is probably more important in terms of how we satisfy our partners. The first two inches or so of the vaginal canal has the most sensory elements and more girth is probably more important to stimulating and satisfying a partner with a vagina," he explained.
To get into more detail about what adding girth would look like in practice, Dr. Zimmerman broke it down for us. "The procedure is done by placing either fat grafts or FDA-approved materials in the space between the inner organs of the penis and the outer skin of the penis."
Now let's discuss a controversial topic that often arises when it comes to penises: circumcision and sensation. Dr. Zimmerman said that people who are circumcised do not feel less than those who are not. "Think about if you've ever had a broken arm or broken leg. When you first take the cast off, it seems — because you had nothing to cause sensation — super sensitive. It's kind of the same thing. If you have a foreskin, it protects the glans of the penis, that distal tip. It gets less stimulation, but as the penis elongates during erection, it gets more attention. So, it may feel more sensitive, but the actual nerves are performing the same," he explained.
However, when it comes circumcision, does Dr. Zimmerman believe it to be crucial to penile health? "As a family practitioner, I've delivered hundreds, thousands of babies — and had the opportunity to circumcise or not circumcise those babies. The pendulum has shifted in terms of our understanding. Is it necessary? Probably not."
There is evidence suggesting that there may be health benefits to circumcision. According to the CDC, data from three clinical trials found that a person with a penis can reduce their risk of becoming infected with HIV from an HIV-positive person with a vagina by 53-60%. Clinical trials have also shown that circumcised people compared to uncircumcised people are 42% less likely to acquire syphilis infections, 48% less likely to acquire genital ulcer disease, 28-34% less likely to contract genital herpes, and 32-35% likely like to contract high-risk strains of human papillomavirus (HPV) associated with cancer.
"Circumcision may also decrease the chances of a person with a vagina getting cervical cancer because the penis can be a conduit to carry germs and viruses up the vaginal canal. But, as long as someone is able to withdraw the foreskin, keep the tethers from forming, and keep the area clean so there aren't low-grade fungal or bacterial infections, circumcision probably isn't necessary," D. Zimmerman explained.
Now that we've established the importance of cleaning your penis, what is the best way to care for it? Dr Zimmerman said, "Cleaning the penis is good, but a certain amount of natural oils need to be on the skin so that things don't dry out. If you have a foreskin, you need to pull it back and cleanse the collection of oils out so it doesn't ferment or become a place for bacteria, viruses, or fungus to grow."
You can use any soap or body wash to clean your penis. "If you rinse well — and it's not a body wash that has lots of fragrances, additives, or things that would cause you to have an allergic reaction — I think you're probably fine."
Another thing Dr. Zimmerman told BuzzFeed that you may be surprised to learn is crooked or curved penises can be more enjoyable during intercourse! "Peyronie's syndrome is very common and some say more enjoyable during sex. As long as it's functional, doesn't cause pain, and you're able to urinate and have good relations without pain, it's not an issue."
"A penis curves in a certain direction when one of the two internal tubes has a little stricture in it. As long as the penis doesn't curve past about 30 degrees, they may actually be more enjoyable to their partner. If it goes past 30 degrees, it can make relation uncomfortable for one partner or the other," he explained